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JCO Glob Oncol ; 7: 416-424, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1239918


PURPOSE: The coronavirus-induced pandemic has put great pressure on health systems worldwide. Nonemergency health services, such as cancer screening, have been scaled down or withheld as a result of travel restrictions and resources being redirected to manage the pandemic. The present article discusses the challenges to cancer screening implementation in the pandemic environment, suggesting ways to optimize services for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening. METHODS: The manuscript was drafted by a team of public health specialists with expertise in implementation and monitoring of cancer screening. A scoping review of literature revealed the lack of comprehensive guidance on continuation of cancer screening in the midst of waxing and waning of infection. The recommendations in the present article were based on the advisories issued by different health agencies and professional bodies and the authors' understanding of the best practices to maintain quality-assured cancer screening. RESULTS: A well-coordinated approach is required to ensure that essential health services such as cancer management are maintained and elective services are not threatened, especially because of resource constraints. In the context of cancer screening, a few changes in invitation strategies, screening and management protocols and program governance need to be considered to fit into the new normal situation. Restoring public trust in providing efficient and safe services should be one of the key mandates for screening program reorganization. This may be a good opportunity to introduce innovations (eg, telehealth) and consider de-implementing non-evidence-based practices. It is necessary to consider increased spending on primary health care and incorporating screening services in basic health package. CONCLUSION: The article provides guidance on reorganization of screening policies, governance, implementation, and program monitoring.

COVID-19 , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Neoplasms/prevention & control , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/prevention & control , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Telemedicine , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control